Family Day largely falls short, parents say

Saturday, Oct. 20 saw a flood of students' families flock to Geneseo's ivy-covered buildings for Family Day.

The Family Day schedule was a series of events that were kicked off with a sumptuous breakfast spread in Mary Jemison Dining Hall hosted by President Christopher Dahl. In a "Gathering of Great Minds," faculty from different disciplines came together in the Union Ballroom to offer information on their academic fields. Another event was a display of the physics department's particle accelerator in Greene Hall.

Other events included a "Culture Fest" in the Union Ballroom, representing the start of Cultural Harmony Week, a fall foliage walking tour in Letchworth Park, cultural workshops in the KnightSpot, performances by student winners of the Annual Honors Recital Competition, art exhibits, a performance by the Clayton Miller Band and a showing of the movie Wild Hogs, among other things.

Despite the variety of activities on schedule, the spirit of the event, from the perspective of students and their families, seemed to be bogged down by academic lectures, limiting the excitement towards other events and casual family interaction. The general consensus among visiting families ultimately tended toward disappointment.

Laurie Davis, a mother, found the message of the day's lectures a bit overbearing. "We're already sending our kid here," she said. "We don't need to be impressed."

The Duell family echoed this sentiment, suggesting a schedule more oriented to relaxed family fun. Many students also felt underwhelmed by the activities. "Why have a Family Day when families can come visit anytime?" asked sophomore Ray Fedora.

Some suggested that a greater number of open and entertaining events might enhance the experience of Family Day, presenting a more festive or even carnival atmosphere to engage the whole family. More than anything, parents seemed to want a more intimate and less structured visit for the day.

Although attractions were spread throughout the day, students just seemed to want control in showing their families around campus on their own terms.